Restaurant Review #38: All India Cafe, West LA

This is supposed to be one of the better Indian restaurants in the area--and this judgment refers strictly to the food, as there is no atmosphere, unless you count a stunning view of the Blockbuster Video across the street. So I faxed in my order, had my friend pick it up on the way home from work, and enjoyed my Indian feast in the atmosphere of my tiny apartment.

We ordered the Bombay chicken (listed as a cafe specialty), palak paneer, garlic naan, tamarind chutney, mint chutney, kheer (rice pudding), Nimbu Paani (lemonade), and ginger brew. Here's my quick analysis:

Bombay chicken: So flavorful that it made me understand why people choose to eat meat. Amazing. Tender meat, bursting with flavors of onion, ginger, green chilies and spices, dried mango powder, coriander, and cayenne. Comes on the bone (my warning to the meat-squeamish).

Palak Paneer: So bad that I threw it away. Yes, I, Amy, threw away Indian food. How do you ruin palak paneer? Even I can make a decent palak paneer, and there is not a drop of Indian blood in my body. It tasted like school cafeteria spinach. Blech.

Garlic Naan: Good. Standard.

Mint Chutney: Not watery and flavorful. Yum.

Tamarind Chutney: Very good flavor but very watery. Why is all the tamarind chutney in LA so watery?

Kheer: Pretty good, but nothing mind-blowing. Cardamom flavor should have been more pronounced. Taking the seeds out of their pods before cooking always helps. The rice was soggy, but I think that's common in rice pudding--after all, it's made with leftover rice. However, I'd really like it if someone made me rice pudding to order so that the rice wasn't soggy. Maybe. I'm not sure this would work, I'd just like to try it. Personally, I'm terrible at making anything that involves rice (that's right, I can make palak paneer, but I cannot cook rice), so someone will have to do this for me.

Nimbu Paani: Did not come in a cup. Came in a soup cup--maybe they were out? Somewhat watery, but probably my fault for waiting 30 minutes to drink it. Overall flavor was good--lemonade infused with fresh ginger and lime. Tasted a tad carbonated, too.

Ginger Brew: Cheaters! It was a bottle of Reed's Extra Strong Ginger Brew. For $3.75??? Christ. I thought this was going to be something homemade.

Overall: The Bombay chicken would be worth going back for, but I don't eat much meat, so I doubt I will go back. I don't know what all the fuss is about this place.

All India Cafe
12113 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 442-5250

Better Indian Food
More Better Indian Food
Even More Better Indian Food

No comments: